7 Effective Natural Remedies for Chronic Pain

 Natural remedies for chronic pain are not always as easy as just popping a pill. I have been dealing with chronic pain for years. Several years ago, I was diagnosed with something called myofascial pain syndrome. It’s a disease similar to Fibromyalgia but slightly different in how it presents. Basically, I suffer from chronic muscle stiffness, muscle spasms, chronic inflammation, and trigger points throughout my whole body and no one knows why.  Oh joy, right?  Basically, that means I am searching for chronic pain relief regularly!

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Please note that these natural remedies for chronic pain are just things that *I* have tried. I am NOT a doctor and you should consult your physician before making any changes to your lifestyle or medical treatment plan!

Effective Natural Remedies for Dealing with Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain in Women

Perimenopausal women are diagnosed with myofascial pain syndrome more than any other type of person. My pain definitely cycles along with my hormones during the month. Needless to say, I have tried a lot of natural remedies for chronic pain over the last few years. Some have worked. Some haven’t. I thought I would share with you some natural chronic pain relief ideas so that maybe you can feel better with fewer prescription medications. If your chronic pain is keeping you awake at night, check out my post on natural sleep remedies.

Natural Remedies for Chronic Pain

 

Natural Remedies for Chronic Pain

There are many natural remedies for pain and inflammation.  However, keep in mind that there are many different types of pain .  Natural pain relief for arthritis will differ greatly from natural pain relief after surgery.  Talk to your doctor and do your research.  Here are a few pain relief methods that have worked for me. 

Exercise:

By far, I have found exercise to be one of the best natural remedies for chronic pain. The more I move, the better I feel. Talk to your doctor about your physical limitations. Check out physical therapy with a trained professional. Get a personal trainer at a gym who understands physiology and your own medical issues. Then, just MOVE.

Home Exercise Equipment for Chronic Pain Relief

  •  AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbells: Ideal for fitness classes or at-home workout routines
  • Superior Fitness 600 lb Exercise/Yoga/Stability Ball: Perfect For Home or Office Physical Therapy
  • AmazonBasics 1/2-Inch Extra Thick Exercise Mat Great for yoga, pilates, and other workout routines
  • Yoga for Chronic Pain: 7 steps to aid recovery from fibromyalgia with yoga

Natural Pain Relief Tips

Walk, run, lift weights or do whatever you can to work your muscles. Light aerobic work that just warms you up is great for muscle stiffness. Strength training (building muscle) is also important. Yes, you hurt. I understand that getting up and exercising doesn’t always feel great. But I firmly believe that movement is the most effective natural pain relief there is. Sitting for long periods of time will only make things worse.

Natural Remedies for Chronic Pain

Diet:

Let me just say that when I first started feeling bad, I tried all sorts of dietary changes. I tried going gluten free for months. I tried the Paleo diet because people said it was great for pain relief. None of them helped. I have come to realize that for ME, what works best is a whole food diet which still allows for indulgences when I feel the need. Check out my post on Omega 3s and inflammation for more info. 

More Natural Healing Tips

Chronic pain background concept glowing

Increasing the ‘good fats’ in my diet has been a focus for me because those are said to be helpful for people with chronic muscle pain and nerve problems. I have started eating lots of avocados, nuts, and seeds. Fish gets eaten regularly and I add flax seed oil to my smoothies.  Omega 3s are important when dealing with chronic inflammation.

I eat a rainbow of colors in order to make sure I get a balanced diet. And I take a multivitamin daily to fill in the cracks. Some people swear that eating vegan is a great for chronic pain relief. Others say give up gluten and dairy because they are inflammatory. I say, try it all and do what works for you!

Natural remedies for chronic pain

Heat:

One of my favorite natural remedies for chronic pain is heat. I sit in the sauna 5 mornings a week and hit the hot tub on the weekends. A heating pad and cup of herbal tea help occasionally as well. Don’t overdo the heat or you can increase your body’s inflammatory response but when you are at your worst, consider trying heat to alleviate chronic pain.

Supplements:

I am hesitant to recommend any particular supplement because you really need to do your research and figure out what works for you. All supplements, even totally natural ones, have side effects so make sure you know what you are taking.

I find that supplements like turmeric and ginger help with pain and inflammation. Make a turmeric smoothie for breakfast or turmeric tea at bedtime.  Try a ginger detox bath or juice it with carrots and apples. Vitamin B helps keep those muscle spasms and nerve twitches down to a minimum. Fish oil keeps muscle fibers limber and a multivitamin ensures my body is getting the right nutrients to function at 100%. Your body and its’ response to supplements will be different from mine but those are the things that work for me.

Supplements for Chronic Pain that I Use

Natural Remedies for Chronic Pain Essential Oils

Rubs, creams, and oils:

I have tried a million topical pain relief products. These include things like essential oils for pain, blue emu oil, tiger balm and several others. I find most of them to be temporary solutions, although some last longer than others. They are most effective when combined with heat so my current therapy involves slathering myself in something and hitting the sauna. I’m sure I smell great to the people sitting next to me but it works to get me moving in the morning! I found that Panaway essential oil was actually fairly effective, although not cheap. Your mileage may vary!

Massage therapy as natural remedies for chronic pain

Massage:

Massage can be one of the most expensive natural remedies for chronic pain but boy, does it really work for me. Find a massage therapist who understands physiology and isn’t just there to make you feel relaxed. For myofascial pain syndrome, you really need the massage therapist to put some force behind the massage to keep those muscles loose. If you can ‘t afford a professional massage, check out my post about easy tips for a do it yourself massage. The key is to keep your muscles limber and your body and mind relaxed.

Acupuncture:

This is one natural chronic pain relief that I didn’t try more than once. People swear by it but I ended up with a horrendous muscle spasm during the procedure that I literally had to do my labor breathing through in order to not cry in pain. I also bruised horrible and had no relief from that one experience so I was just not excited to try again. You might have better results and I know there is a lot of research out there about it’s benefits, but it just wasn’t for me.

I am always trying new natural remedies for chronic pain in case the next one I try is the ‘magic bullet’. Natural remedies are my first choice whenever possible, rather than taking prescription or over the counter pain medications. I still have to take them occasionally, but I find that I need a LOT fewer when I take the time to listen to my body and use a few natural remedies. For more information, check out WebMD.  They have great tips for managing chronic pain.

Do you have any natural remedies for chronic pain that work for you?

(NOTE: post updated and content added from previous publish date)


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Comments

  1. http://Sandy%20Cain says
    I have nothing that works for my old mom. She is 86, with multiple health issues, and has fibromyalgia. She lives on Percocet, and has now developed a tolerance. She is very suspicious of natural remedies, and stubborn, too. She is weak, and uses a walker and can't excersise. I have a little vibrator that I run up and down her back, and that sometimes takes the edge off for an hour or so. I really want her to try heat, but she refuses, and uses cold packs all the time. It's very depressing, I just don't know what to do. She is home-bound, and though we have a wheelchair for her, she won't go out to a Pain Management Specialist. I just don't know what to do!
    • http://Diane says
      Having worked for 15 years in a pharmacy, I totally understand the frustrations of prescription pain meds. It's hard when a person isn't open to alternative ideas. Maybe you could speak to her doctor and have him suggest a few? Sometimes, people are more open to advice if it comes from a medical professional. Best of luck with the situation and I hope your mom finds some relief from the pain!
  2. http://Linda%20Briggs%20Leonard says
    Diane, I have your condition along with fibro, RSD, distonia, and arthritis, so I look at ALL pain relieving recommendations. Your condition is probably the worst of what I have! I, too, get the most relief from heat, so wanted to recommend to you to try a heated mattress cover. Enough sleep is vital! Sleep disturbances are more common with fibro, but any pain condition can cause it. The muscle cramping was so bad for me that I was eventually put on Valium and Lyrica - both are life savers! I have Norco for my herniated discs, and have not built up a tolerance to any of it. Get your blood tested, as well. You may find that you are deficient in Vitamin D - I have to take 10,000 units a day. I do hope this post helps you in some little way, and will say a prayer for you tonight. Blessings, Linda (Facebook).
    • http://Diane says
      My bloodwork showed normal levels of Vitamin D but my dr said just about everyone could benefit from a supplement of it so I started 400 IU per day last year but noticed no difference. Just read last week that chronic pain sufferers may benefit from thousands of IU per day so upped it to 4000 IU per day last week. Will try for a few months and see if I notice a difference. I had a horrible reaction to valium (crippling depression which is apparently a side effect) and the only RX med I take right now is 1/2 a muscle relaxer at bedtime to help me sleep. I use Advil when I can't handle the pain (usually cycles with my hormones so some weeks are worse than others). Best of luck with your health...I can't imagine dealing with as many things as you have going on. I can barely handle the one I have right now. Stress is a big culprit for me. If I could just manage that I think I would feel much better! Good luck to you and thanks for the info about the mattress cover!

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